Fire department shares horrifying photo to warn public about space heaters

An Oregon fire department took to Facebook earlier this week to speak out about the dangers of a popular winter electronic as the weather outside becomes more and more frightful.

The Umatilla County Fire District #1 posted a photo of a severely melted and charred power strip on Sunday to warn others not to plug their space heaters into such devices. 

"The weather is getting colder, and people are pulling out their space heaters," the department wrote on Facebook. "We just wanted to remind you that you should NEVER plug a heater into a power strip. These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow."

"Please share and stay safe this Winter season," the department ended its post.

Since it was posted on Nov. 26, the alarming photo has racked up 800 reactions and has been shared over 17,000 times, as well as many comments expressing concern that their favorite winter appliance might be putting them in danger.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that portable electric heaters cause 1,100 fires per year, resulting in about 50 deaths, dozens of injuries and millions of dollars in property loss.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 32 percent of home heating fires involve space heaters, resulting in 79 percent of home heating fire deaths in the United States.

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